HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) – Pedestrian deaths are on the rise in Connecticut, and some of the state’s most dangerous areas are about to get more help from the government.
On Monday, leaders gathered in New Britain to announce a federal grant of almost $1 million as part of the Safer Streets and Roads for All Act. It’s part of a $2.4 million federal grant that will go to six Connecticut communities after a historically deadly year for pedestrian collisions.
“Our roads are becoming deadlier. Last year was one of the deadliest in our history,” U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) said.
Seventy-five people died in the last year alone in pedestrian collisions. Between 2017 and 2021, more than 5,600 pedestrians were injured, and 254 people were killed. New Britain ranked sixth during that time, with 187 pedestrian collisions.
The top five areas in the state for pedestrian collisions in those four years were New Haven, Bridgeport, Hartford, Waterbury, and Stamford, according to the Governor’s Highway Safety Association.
The city of New Britain is part of the Capital Region Council of Governments, made up of 38 municipalities in the Greater Hartford area. The council will benefit from the nearly $1 million federal grant.
“Having the opportunity and the access to this grant money is really going to allow us to finally make some serious improvements and make some changes,” New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart said.
Matt Hart, executive director of the Capitol Region Council of Governments (CRCOG), said his organization would update its crash data and develop a list of projects to allow the group to incorporate the best practices in the field.
Blumenthal said investing in better roadways is common sense.
“To say they can’t be made safer is to be in denial, and that’s why this investment is so critically important,” he said.